Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Mimicry and imitation in autism spectrum disorders  

Many researchers believe that a deficit in mimicry (the tendency to copy gestures and facial expressions of others), and thus an inability to learn that the self and others are similarly emotional beings, may be central to the development of autism. This research will better establish a link between mimicry deficits and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms. The study will also document whether people with autism also lack the biological process resulting from mimicry called facial feedback. Facial feedback is the process by which our inner emotions are affected by our facial gestures, causing us to literally feel what others are feeling through the mimicry of their faces. Such "emotional contagion" enables the typical person to bond more closely and to better interpret others' intentions and state of mind. If impairments in mimicry, facial feedback, and emotional contagion are consistently found in people with ASD, the impairments could suggest a pathway for the development of the disorder. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Current Award Period 2008-2010
Project Number 2175
Principal Investigator Fein, Deborah
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Cognitive Studies
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Connecticut
State/Country Connecticut
Web Link 1 Mimicry and imitation in autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Mimicry and imitation in autism spectrum disorders | $31,685.00 | 2009 | 2175